What Is “Love Is a Fallacy” by Max Shulman?

“Love is a Fallacy” by Max Shulman is a short story about University of Minnesota college roommates Dobie Gillis and Petey Burch. In the tale, Dobie initiates an exchange to benefit them both that ultimately backfires on him to defy his logic.

Dobie knows that his roommate longs for a raccoon coat he cannot afford, one that all the “big men” on campus are wearing. Dobie, an aspiring lawyer, desires a beautiful girl to be his future wife and help his law career thrive. Dobie’s father has a raccoon coat in the attic, so Dobie proposes a trade — the coat for Polly Espy, Petey’s treasured girl. Petey agrees to the trade, but Polly chooses to stay with him because he now has the coveted raccoon coat. According to the Internet Movie Database, the story was presented as a film short in 2010.